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Thread: Trump to sign E/O lifting 501-c (3) tax restrictions on churches

  1. #1

    Exclamation Trump to sign E/O lifting 501-c (3) tax restrictions on churches

    Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by churches

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-us...KBN17Z2O2?il=0

    By Steve Holland | WASHINGTON

    President Donald Trump is expected to take executive action on Thursday to effectively lift a ban on political activity by churches and other tax-exempt institutions, a senior White House official said on Wednesday.

    Trump will mark the National Day of Prayer by issuing guidance to federal agencies like the Treasury Department on how to interpret a law that says churches and religious organizations risk losing their tax-exempt status if they participate in political campaigns.

    The order is expected to give the Treasury Department guidance on how strictly to enforce the 1954 law known as the Johnson Amendment, the White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity as details of the action were still being worked out.


    Trump frequently complained about the amendment during his campaign for the presidency, bolstering his support among religious conservatives who contend it violates free speech and religious freedom rights.

    Changing the law altogether would require action in the Republican-led U.S. Congress.

    Civil liberties and gay rights groups fear Trump's order could include provisions to allow government agencies and businesses to deny services to gay people in the name of religious freedom. The groups have argued that such a move would be unconstitutional.

    It was not clear on Wednesday whether the order would include that type of measure, the official said.
    Last edited by Anti Federalist; 05-04-2017 at 08:03 PM. Reason: Had the IRS code wrong



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  3. #2

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    The law: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/501

    (3)Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.

    ...

    (h)Expenditures by public charities to influence legislation

    (1)General ruleIn the case of an organization to which this subsection applies, exemption from taxation under subsection (a) shall be denied because a substantial part of the activities of such organization consists of carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation, but only if such organization normally—

    (A)makes lobbying expenditures in excess of the lobbying ceiling amount for such organization for each taxable year, or

    (B)makes grass roots expenditures in excess of the grass roots ceiling amount for such organization for each taxable year.


    (2)DefinitionsFor purposes of this subsection—
    (A)Lobbying expendituresThe term “lobbying expenditures” means expenditures for the purpose of influencing legislation (as defined in section 4911(d)).


    (B)Lobbying ceiling amountThe lobbying ceiling amount for any organization for any taxable year is 150 percent of the lobbying nontaxable amount for such organization for such taxable year, determined under section 4911.


    (C)Grass roots expendituresThe term “grass roots expenditures” means expenditures for the purpose of influencing legislation (as defined in section 4911(d) without regard to paragraph (1)(B) thereof).


    (D)Grass roots ceiling amountThe grass roots ceiling amount for any organization for any taxable year is 150 percent of the grass roots nontaxable amount for such organization for such taxable year, determined under section 4911.


    It looks like right now 503(c) organizations are allowed to spend 30% of their total charity spending doing lobbying and grass roots work. If they spend more than that then they risk losing their non-profit status.

    I don't see how an EO can change the interpretation of this but I guess we'll see. So much for all that complaining about executive action and the President just writing law from his desk, I guess...

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    Finally some friggin good news, even if his methodology is absurdly broken.

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    Civil liberties and gay rights groups fear Trump's order could include provisions to allow government agencies and businesses to deny services to gay people in the name of religious freedom.
    Two completely different entities.

    Shut down "government agencies" and GTFO of business matters instead of trying to yoke them together...

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    Changing enforcement- not the law:

    Changing the law altogether would require action in the Republican-led U.S. Congress.
    Most of his EO's have been more symbolic in nature rather than changing actual laws and designed to appeal to his base.
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 05-03-2017 at 08:19 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCarolinaLiberty View Post

    Half the crap I write here is just to entertain myself.
    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

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    It goes against the 1st Amendment. The IRS should be abolished.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GunnyFreedom View Post
    Finally some friggin good news, even if his methodology is absurdly broken.
    He doesn't have a methodology.
    “Force the normies into taking sides. At the moment they are just like "meh, I am minding my own business" retreating culturally into their private bubbles and "safe-spaces" since they don't understand what is going on. When the actual "us vs them" starts, they will be forced to fight or they'll die.” - Anonymous Poster

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCount View Post
    I don't see how an EO can change the interpretation of this but I guess we'll see. So much for all that complaining about executive action and the President just writing law from his desk, I guess...[/FONT][/COLOR]
    Trust me, I am in full agreement with Gunny, the methodology is utterly broken.

    However, I am in favor of anything that restores even the slightest bit of freedom to people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AuH20 View Post
    He doesn't have a methodology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCount View Post
    It looks like right now 503(c) organizations are allowed to spend 30% of their total charity spending doing lobbying and grass roots work. If they spend more than that then they risk losing their non-profit status.
    Except that no non-profit with more than 3 brain cells would ever do that because it allows all of their books to be open to the IRS and subjects them to endless audits.
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

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    Good in principle, probably of no help to us in practice (...most of the churches today aren't exactly bastions of liberty).

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    Quote Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0 View Post
    Good in principle, probably of no help to us in practice (...most of the churches today aren't exactly bastions of liberty).
    Your pastor is probably an FBI informant.
    Truth is a social construct. 👁👁

  14. #13

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    Where is the line between church and state drawn?
    RPF's very own forum member Brett85 is running for Kansas state rep 113th district.
    Please donate what you can : http://brettfairchild.com/donate/

    See his pitch thread here.
    https://tinyurl.com/ycagr3tz

    Don't pay the media to attack Rand
    Every time you click on the attack articles, you are literally paying them to attack Rand or other liberty officials.

    be ACTIVE, be EFFECTIVE, be ORGANIZED, be STRATEGIC, be VICTORIOUS.

    How to plug a TWEET in post [ TWEET] [/TWEET ]

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0 View Post
    Good in principle, probably of no help to us in practice (...most of the churches today aren't exactly bastions of liberty).
    The Pope says that your liberty is a bad thing...

    http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthr...=1#post6461312
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  16. #15

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    There should be no taxes. That being said, special exemptions reak of cronyism and fraud.
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    There should be no taxes. That being said, special exemptions reak of cronyism and fraud.
    This is a blasphemy!
    Truth is a social construct. 👁👁

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    The Pope says that your liberty is a bad thing...

    http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthr...=1#post6461312
    Pope's a commie

  19. #18

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    Was this enforced? I enjoy watching the Jim Bakker show for a good laugh these days, and his PRIMARY message throughout 2016 was "VOTE TRUMP!" The show is put forward as (and is, as far as I can tell) a church service being broadcast on TV, so I was mighty confused as to how that was allowed.

    (Not that I think speech should be limited, even for Jim Bakker; I'm just wondering this change will do much, if it wasnt enforced previously.)
    The more prohibitions you have,
    the less virtuous people will be.
    The more weapons you have,
    the less secure people will be.
    The more subsidies you have,
    the less self-reliant people will be.

    Therefore the Master says:
    I let go of the law,
    and people become honest.
    I let go of economics,
    and people become prosperous.
    I let go of religion,
    and people become serene.
    I let go of all desire for the common good,
    and the good becomes common as grass.

    -Tao Te Ching, Section 57

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonhowe View Post
    Was this enforced? I enjoy watching the Jim Bakker show for a good laugh these days, and his PRIMARY message throughout 2016 was "VOTE TRUMP!" The show is put forward as (and is, as far as I can tell) a church service being broadcast on TV, so I was mighty confused as to how that was allowed.

    (Not that I think speech should be limited, even for Jim Bakker; I'm just wondering this change will do much, if it wasnt enforced previously.)
    It was selectively enforced. The powers-that-be were concerned because they know the history about the Black Robed Regiment and did not want that happen again.

    So they made sure to coerce the men in cloth by getting them to be snitches with the Clergy Response Teams.







    26,000 Pastors for Martial Law Continuity of Government
    https://www.prisonplanet.com/26000-p...overnment.html

    Ban on Political Endorsements by Pastors Targeted
    https://www.prisonplanet.com/ban-on-...-targeted.html


    New Legislation Authorizes FEMA Camps In U.S.
    https://www.prisonplanet.com/new-leg...mps-in-us.html

    FEMA sources confirm coming martial law
    https://www.prisonplanet.com/fema-so...rtial-law.html

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    It was selectively enforced. The powers-that-be were concerned because they know the history about the Black Robed Regiment and did not want that happen again.

    So they made sure to coerce the men in cloth by getting them to be snitches with the Clergy Response Teams.







    26,000 Pastors for Martial Law Continuity of Government
    https://www.prisonplanet.com/26000-p...overnment.html

    Ban on Political Endorsements by Pastors Targeted
    https://www.prisonplanet.com/ban-on-...-targeted.html


    New Legislation Authorizes FEMA Camps In U.S.
    https://www.prisonplanet.com/new-leg...mps-in-us.html

    FEMA sources confirm coming martial law
    https://www.prisonplanet.com/fema-so...rtial-law.html
    Why wouldnt it be enforced against the widely known guy with a nationwide TV show, then? I mean, he was out and out endorsing Trump and instructing people to the polls.
    The more prohibitions you have,
    the less virtuous people will be.
    The more weapons you have,
    the less secure people will be.
    The more subsidies you have,
    the less self-reliant people will be.

    Therefore the Master says:
    I let go of the law,
    and people become honest.
    I let go of economics,
    and people become prosperous.
    I let go of religion,
    and people become serene.
    I let go of all desire for the common good,
    and the good becomes common as grass.

    -Tao Te Ching, Section 57

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonhowe View Post
    Why wouldnt it be enforced against the widely known guy with a nationwide TV show, then? I mean, he was out and out endorsing Trump and instructing people to the polls.
    I cannot answer that. I know there are a lot of wolves in sheep's clothing out there. You have to research it, and use discernment.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCount View Post
    It looks like right now 503(c) organizations are allowed to spend 30% of their total charity spending doing lobbying and grass roots work. If they spend more than that then they risk losing their non-profit status.
    Except that this provision doesn't apply to churches -- see §501(h)(5).

    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    It goes against the 1st Amendment.
    Churches don't have a constitutional right not to be taxed. Congress has decided, however, to grant them tax-exempt status and to grant tax deductions for contributions made to them but only if they don't use this subsidy to intervene in political campaigns. If a church wants to campaign for someone it is free to do so, but it can't do it with tax-free money. All other 501(c)(3) organizations are subject to the same restriction, which isn't affected by the lobbying exception in §501(h).

    Taxing a publisher doesn't violate the Free Press Clause, and taxing a church doesn't violate the Free Exercise Clause.
    We have long had death and taxes as the two standards of inevitability. But there are those who believe that death is the preferable of the two. "At least," as one man said, "there's one advantage about death; it doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
    Erwin N. Griswold

    Taxes: Of life's two certainties, the only one for which you can get an automatic extension.
    Anonymous

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonhowe View Post
    Why wouldnt it be enforced against the widely known guy with a nationwide TV show, then? I mean, he was out and out endorsing Trump and instructing people to the polls.
    More than likely because his TV show operation is not organized as a 501 - 3 (c) charity.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0 View Post
    Pope's a commie
    Yes, yes he is.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonny Tufts View Post
    Except that this provision doesn't apply to churches -- see §501(h)(5).



    Churches don't have a constitutional right not to be taxed. Congress has decided, however, to grant them tax-exempt status and to grant tax deductions for contributions made to them but only if they don't use this subsidy to intervene in political campaigns. If a church wants to campaign for someone it is free to do so, but it can't do it with tax-free money. All other 501(c)(3) organizations are subject to the same restriction, which isn't affected by the lobbying exception in §501(h).

    Taxing a publisher doesn't violate the Free Press Clause, and taxing a church doesn't violate the Free Exercise Clause.
    Churches have been tax exempt in the US since the country was founded. The 501(c)3 provision was added in 1954. All 501(c)3 did was muzzle their speech in return for the ability to deduct contributions from income tax, thus making Church revenue de facto taxpayer funds, which is why they believed they had the authority to do it. Since 501(c) churches are literally funded by tax money, the government believes they have the authority to tell those churches how to conduct business.

    I for one do not believe that donations to Church should be written off on income taxes to begin with. I am a passionate and fervent Christian, but the idea of funding a Church with taxpayer funds is evil from both perspectives. However what is far, far worse than the ability to write off those donations (which again, should not exist) is this idea that a Church should give up their 1st Amendment.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    More than likely because his TV show operation is not organized as a 501 - 3 (c) charity.
    And also because Trump was an establishment candidate. No threat to the gravy train and overseas killing.
    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    It's a balance between appeasing his supporters, appeasing the deep state and reaching his own goals.
    ~Resident Badgiraffe




  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    More than likely because his TV show operation is not organized as a 501 - 3 (c) charity.
    I've been trying to look into this. I don't mean to derail the thread, but the show requests donations, and is careful to not say you are "buying" their books and products, but getting them in return for a donation. Perhaps this is just done as a guise to make people think it's a charity.

    Jim Bakker just infuriates me; he's such a con artist. (That said, his tax conviction back in the day was bogus.)
    The more prohibitions you have,
    the less virtuous people will be.
    The more weapons you have,
    the less secure people will be.
    The more subsidies you have,
    the less self-reliant people will be.

    Therefore the Master says:
    I let go of the law,
    and people become honest.
    I let go of economics,
    and people become prosperous.
    I let go of religion,
    and people become serene.
    I let go of all desire for the common good,
    and the good becomes common as grass.

    -Tao Te Ching, Section 57

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    There should be no taxes. That being said, special exemptions reak of cronyism and fraud.
    I agree. I don't like any sort of tax exemptions, progressive taxes, etc. If we have to suffer from govt, we should all suffer equally.

  30. #29

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    As written, the Executive Order doesn't do away with anything insofar as the Johnson Amendment is concerned.

    Section 1. Policy. It shall be the policy of the executive branch to vigorously enforce Federal law's robust protections for religious freedom. The Founders envisioned a Nation in which religious voices and views were integral to a vibrant public square, and in which religious people and institutions were free to practice their faith without fear of discrimination or retaliation by the Federal Government. For that reason, the United States Constitution enshrines and protects the fundamental right to religious liberty as Americans' first freedom. Federal law protects the freedom of Americans and their organizations to exercise religion and participate fully in civic life without undue interference by the Federal Government. The executive branch will honor and enforce those protections.

    Sec. 2. Respecting Religious and Political Speech. All executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall, to the greatest extent practicable and to the extent permitted by law, respect and protect the freedom of persons and organizations to engage in religious and political speech. In particular, the Secretary of the Treasury shall ensure, to the extent permitted by law, that the Department of the Treasury does not take any adverse action against any individual, house of worship, or other religious organization on the basis that such individual or organization speaks or has spoken about moral or political issues from a religious perspective, where speech of similar character has, consistent with law, not ordinarily been treated as participation or intervention in a political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) a candidate for public office by the Department of the Treasury. As used in this section, the term "adverse action" means the imposition of any tax or tax penalty; the delay or denial of tax-exempt status; the disallowance of tax deductions for contributions made to entities exempted from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of title 26, United States Code; or any other action that makes unavailable or denies any tax deduction, exemption, credit, or benefit. (qualifying disclaimers bolded)
    As the National Review said, "The answer to the Johnson Amendment, however, is to either repeal the statute or overturn it in court. This order does neither. In fact, a lawyer will commit malpractice if he tells a pastor or director of a nonprofit that this order allows a church or nonprofit to use its resources to support or oppose a candidate. Even if the Trump administration chooses not to enforce the law, a later administration can tear up Trump’s order and begin vigorous enforcement based on actions undertaken during the Trump administration.
    We have long had death and taxes as the two standards of inevitability. But there are those who believe that death is the preferable of the two. "At least," as one man said, "there's one advantage about death; it doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
    Erwin N. Griswold

    Taxes: Of life's two certainties, the only one for which you can get an automatic extension.
    Anonymous

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    “I don’t think that there will be any curtailing of Donald Trump as president,” he said. "He controls the media, he controls the sentiment [and] he controls everybody. He’s the one who will resort to executive orders more so than [President] Obama ever used them." - Ron Paul

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